Blockchain-based P2P remittances startup launched in Kenya

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Kenyan startup BitLipa has launched a peer-to-peer (P2P), borderless remittances network that allows wallet-holders to send money anywhere in the world.

Formed at the beginning of 2019, BitLipa released its beta version on Android last month. The platform uses Bitcoin and Ether as international conduits for value transfer, and will soon incorporate other coins.

All users need to do is convert their fiat currency into crypto, and then send it to the recipient. The recipient can then either spend it in crypto or convert it back to fiat within the application.

Co-founder Apollo Eric told Disrupt Africa the startup had seen a surge in downloads from across the world since its launch, with 2,800 active daily users now using BitLipa. His ambitious goal is to have one million users on the platform by the end of August.

“The gap we spotted in the market was the lack of a practical use-case of blockchain technology that ordinary people could relate to,” he said.

“We thought if we could build a decentralised finance application that levels the ground for everyone by allowing ordinary people to spend their money for free, both locally and across borders, then we will have killed two birds in one strike.”

BitLipa has been bootstrapped from the ground up, but has secured a partnership with Enigma Securities to provide it with Bitcoin liquidity. 

“We have built very good working relationships with local banks to provide us banking services and fiat liquidity as well,” Eric said.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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